22nd February, 2019

It’s been 28 days since the 2-and-a-half-year-old decided (finally…am I allowed to say that!?!) he wanted to take a pee on the potty. I’m not sure if this is normal, but when he did, I celebrated!

Ever the pushy mother (I know my faults) I was hell-bent on getting him toilet trained by 2-years old. I was determined not to potty-train but to toilet-train. So determined in fact, that I wouldn’t even entertain the prospect of potties. I even banned the term potty-training from the house. “It’s toilet training” I would insist.

He teased me a little by having a little wee here and there on the loo, followed by a ‘number 2’ and of course, I rejoiced. I’ve got this nailed, I thought secretly smug at my resounding success! And then he went backwards!

Well, as determined as his mother (who me?!?) he defied me. He wouldn’t go near the toilet, if I tried to force the issue he’d scream, if I asked him if he wanted to use the loo he’d shake his head violently in my direction, just to be sure I’d seen him. Often he shouts ‘NO!’ very loudly at me (who taught him that word?!…oops, that would be me then! Let’s not even talk about when the ‘S’ word fell out of my mouth, another blog post for another day!).

It was my amazing mum who eventually convinced me to try the potty. “Try it,” she said, “he might just find it less intimidating”. After months of French Resistance-style refusal, I finally caved and tried it. Of course, she was right. Mum always is! (I will remind my own children of this in years to come!)

I remember in childless days gone by, hearing friends complain of their trials and tribulations with feeding, sleeping, weaning, walking, potty training, etc, etc, etc. The list of ‘hard’s’ is endless! ‘How hard can it be?!” I used to think (come on, admit it. I know I’m not alone!). I now know the answer….really freaking hard!

I’m nearly three years in and dealing with a little human being with his own little personality, that’s as determined as I am and with so many of my traits is the single hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. All of the other achievements in my life pail into insignificance. And I’ve by no means nailed it. Every day I’m faced with a new challenge. When I feel I am gaining traction on something, I’m reminded that I’m not in control.

We have had puddles and poops on the floor (thank God for the steam mop!) and the trials of potty training continue. We have good days, we have bad days. My laundry has increased by 100%. I virtually pack a suitcase for him to go to nursery and I have already made two trips to Marks and Spencer to buy more pants (thank goodness for Gruffalo & Minion pants!).

On some days, I feel like I am winning and on others I am distraught and it takes all of my courage and willpower to muster a “never mind darling, mummy will clean it up” when what I really want to do is cry. But still, we are making progress, and whilst I am teaching him to use a potty and the toilet, I am humbly being taught by him that the simple things we do are learnt not innate, that patience is a virtue (albeit one that I clearly do not possess) and that love conquers all.

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

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